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Last site update: 2023/10/30
Belt Conveyor "Time Bombs"
Alspaugh makes the point in an October 2023 white paper that contingencies due to inadequate design, environmental factors, changing operating conditions, etc., increase the risk of serious belt conveyor accidents.
This is particularly true for conveyor belts, which suffer greatly from dynamic loading and unstoppable aging.
Need for monitoring and maintenance
The Engineering & Mining Journal reminds in its October 2023 issue of the need for monitoring and maintenance of long belt conveyors. They cite two examples: Copper output at Rio Tinto’s Kennecott mine in Utah (USA) dropped by 36%year-on-year between 2022 and 2023 due to a conveyor problem. Conveyor availability problems also hindered production at the Escondida copper mine in northern Chile.
Belt riding accident
Glencore has released a video of a miner who lost a leg in an unlawful belt ride.
In Dry Bulk magazine, issue Spring 2023, it was correctly pointed out that conveyor belts are the parts of a conveyor system that require the most maintenance and are most frequently affected by failures. Best possible monitoring is essential.
"A bigger price to pay"
In an article in Global Mining Review Jan/Feb 2023, the Dutch belt manufacturer Dunlop warns against cheap conveyor belts from China with allegedly inferior quality. The essay sounds like it was written in the 1980s. It glosses over the enormous transformation brought about by massive investments in recent decades that have lifted Chinese manufacturers to the international level.
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"Carbon-neutral" conveyor belt
The Chinese belt manufacturer Wuxi Boton claims to have supplied world's first carbon-neutral conveyor belt to a BHP mine in Chile end of 2022. It supposedly conforms to BSI PAS 2060 standard. No information was provided on the composition of the rubber compound and the belt characteristics, except for "using high quality carbon offsets".
Conveyor belt hazards
In its latest issue 4-2022 (October), World Coal evaluates different conveyor belt monitoring methods. Predictive maintenance and accident prevention are of paramount importance for the safe and economical operation of long conveyor systems. Intelligent, fully automatic radiographic scanner systems meet these requirements in real time.
New age maintenance
International Mining reports in their January 2022 issue that machine and plant uptime continue to be focus areas for
mining companies looking at maintaining or boosting production levels in the face of labour shortages and site-level access restrictions.
This is particularly true for conveyor belts, which are among the most heavily used parts in the mining industry.
Fugitive material in conveyors
In the article Fugitive material - a preventable enemy of bulk conveying, published in World Coal in December 2021, the considerable consequences of insufficient cleaning or maintenance of conveyor systems are impressively described.
Fugitive material - spillage, dust, carryback etc. - must be addressed, because it can cause downtime, safety incidents, excessive cleaning costs and poor PR.
Predictive maintenance and accident prevention
Fully automatic complete monitoring of steel cord conveyor belts in real time ensuring accident prevention and prescriptive maintenance results is highlighted in the February 2021 issue of International Mining.
Continental to use one brand only
Germany based conveyor belt manufacturer Continental has informed in January 2021 that it will be giving up its various conveyor belt brands including top class Phoenix, and will keep their Continental brand only.
The portfolio is to be expanded to include drones for checking conveyor idlers.
Conveyor Belt App from Fenner Dunlop BV
Dunlop has launched a simple, nice App called Belt Buddy, with some calculation tools and technical guidance on their product range.
ST8000 conveyor belt at Vale's S11D replaced
Following a report of 2020-05-06, Vale has just replaced 14 km of their ST8000 conveyor belts. S11D, world's largest truckless mine, was inaugurated 4 years ago. Such a belt has a normal life expectancy of some 15 years. Possibly, the failure of the belts was not recognized in time, so that the replacement belts had to be delivered on Antonov aircrafts.
Conveyor belt monitoring in times of a crises like Covid-19
International Mining has published a report about the importance of autonomous real-time monitoring of steel-cord conveyor belts:
Belt life expectancy
In his article Choosing the right belt, published in ABHR Jan 2020, Steve Davis describes the wear and failures of conveyor belts as a result of bendings and other stresses.
Young splicer fatally injured by a conveyor belt
A 21-year old splicer was killed by the rebounding end of a ruptured conveyor belt splice end of December 2019 in a coal mine, as per preliminary reports from MSHA USA.
Highest capacity Pipe Conveyor Belt
Two pipe conveyor belts, made by CMH, with a diameter of 500 mm, carrying 5500 t/h of iron ore at a speed of 5,15 m/s, have been commissioned at a loading facility in China in . A video has been released on youtube by Beumer in October 2019.
Importance of real-time conveyor belt condition monitoring still underestimated
E&MJ (Engineering & Mining Journal) reported in its May 2019 issue that on the progress of mining's move to digital transformation, financial departments may have difficulty recognizing digital value that is not readily apparent on a balance sheet. Predictive maintenance that helps avoid a repair cost can be difficult to quantify.
ST10000 belt commissioned in Chile
The conveyor belt with world's highest tension rating has recently been commissioned at Codelco's new Chuquicamata underground copper mine.
End of the strongest underground conveyor belt to date
With the end of German hard coal mining, the strongest underground conveyor belt, ST7500, ceased operation in December 2018.
The video on top of this page shows this system. The mine Prosper-Haniel was the last one to close. It was the most economic mine thanks to the state-of-the-art conveying technology.
FennerDunlop reviving Aramide belts
FennerDunlop, one of the leading manufacturers of conveyor belts, is reviving presumed-dead aramide (trademarks Kevlar, Twaron) conveyor belts.
Six miners killed in a conveyor belt disaster
South Africa's Minister of Mineral Resources, Gwede Mantashe, said on 2018-07-18: “We reiterate our call to mining companies to prioritise the safety of employees at all times. The department of mineral resources will proceed with an investigation into the cause of the accident at Palabora Mining Company, soon after the fire underground has been extinguished and the area is declared safe.”
The CIM Magazine (Canadian Institute of Mining) has published an interesting article named Unnecessary interruptions about improved material handling through smarter modelling, design and monitoring.
Africa's longest belt inaugurated
Sasol has inaugurated its Shondoni coal mine in July 2018, to which Africa's longest conveyor belt with a center distance of 21 km belongs.
Semperit closing down factory in China
Sempertrans has closed down their conveyor belt factory in China (Shandong) in June 2018.
Belt fire at port
A belt fire at Port Kembla in Australia in June 2018, that appears to have been caused by a defective idler roller bearing, has led to considerable damage. Fortunately, no people have been harmed. 70 firefighters were busy extinguishing the open fire for days.
Continental: "Lease conveyor belts, don't buy"
Belt manufacturer ContiTech is stating on the Hannover Fair in April 2018 that the future will be leasing conveyor belts instead of buying them. Info about how the used belts will be taken back was not given.
Dynamic splice tester inaugurated in China
World's biggest conveyor belt factory has inaugurated a huge dynamic splice tester as per DIN 22110 part 3.
Its pulleys have a diameter of 2500 mm, the cylinders have a stroke of 900 mm and the tension range is from 300 to 5400 kN.
New conveyor safety handbook
Martin Engineering has published its first edition of their Foundations conveyor safety handbook.
Vale inaugurated world's largest truckless mine
On 2016.12.17, Vale inaugurated world's largest mining project ever, with a production of 90 Mt/a of iron ore to be reached in 2020. S11D is a truckless mine with a total belt conveyor length of 68 km. The system replaces traditional mining trucks (OHT); 100 of them with a capacity of 240 t would have been required. Without trucks, Vale reduces fuel consumption by 80 %, and significantly reduces waste such as tires, filters and lubricants. There will be at least 50 % of greenhouse gas emissions (= 130.000 t of CO2) less per year. And 18.000 MWh/a of electricity are going to be saved.
New fast overlands in Indonesia
Two of the fastest overland conveyor belts have been commissioned in Indonesia in November 2016, running at speeds of 7,5 and 8,5 m/s. They are bringing KPC's coal from the mine to the port.
Pathbreaking belt monitoring
Nonstop conveyor belt monitoring based on X-ray technology is about to revolutionize long distance conveyor belt performance. Virtually every cubic millimeter of a conveyor belt is scrutinized. It is the perfect part of Preventive Maintenance and Industrial Internet of Things. More...
S11D truckless mine update
Some 90% of Vale's S11D truckless mine in Brazil with an investment of USD 17 billion have been completed in September. It is the largest iron ore mining project in the world.
ARPM Handbook 5
A new edition of the American Conveyor and Elevator Belt Handbook has been published. It is available at USD 225 for non-members.
New requirements in China's coal industry
Subsequent to a decree of May 2013, according to which main steel cord conveyor belts have to be equipped with a belt and splice health monitoring device, a further tightening is coming into force: As of October 2016, all belt conveyors must be equipped with a rip detection device.
China is by far the world's largest consumer of conveyor belts.
Codelco Chile has awarded the supply of the most powerful belt conveyor system for their Chuquicamata underground expansion project to Takraf Germany. It includes St 10000 conveyor belts, a new strength record.
Contitech has stopped their conveyor belt production in Volos, Greece (the factory was also known as "Imas") in March 2016. 138 employees were laid off. The inventory is for sale.
The same fate strikes their plant in Bowmanville, Canada.
Their steel cord belt plant in Brazil is for sale.
An Australian standard for the indentation rolling resistance is under development and expected to be published early 2017.
In November 2015, revision of EN DIN 12882, and in October 2015, revision of DIN 12881-1 have been released.
A new record length belt at Sasol's Impumelelo project in South Africa has been commissioned in October 2015. The single-flight conveyor is 27 km long. It is equipped with a 1200 / St 2000 7/5 belt made in China. More...
ISO 7623, published in October 2015: Steel cord conveyor belts - Cord-to-coating bond test.
Revision of DIN 22129 part 4, splicing, published in August 2015.
Revision of AS 1755
In 4Q15, Australia's current conveyor safety standard AS1755 will be superseded by a series of new standards under AS4024, where part 3611 will cover belt conveyors for bulk material handling.
Germany's Continental/ContiTech has taken over US based Veyance Technologies, effective on 30.Jan. 2015, creating world's biggest conveyor belt manufacturing group, eliminating Goodyear/Veyance from the conveyor belt market.
The new 7th edition of the CEMA handbook has adapted the calculation principle of DIN 22123.
We have added a video on so-called "man-riding", practiced in Germany.
The revised DIN 22102 for textile conveyor belts has been published in January 2014.
First standard for indentation rolling resistance of conveyor belts - DIN 22123
This first-time standard has been published in October 2012. More about IRR...
One component adhesive
A new kind of adhesive for cold splicing and repairing of conveyor belts has been launched. This one-component glue makes warehousing and dispatch easier, no activation is necessary, errors by wrong dosage of activator are eliminated, there is no vulcanization in the tin.
Draft revised standards published
E DIN 22109-1 (2013) - Solid woven textile conveyor belts for hard coal underground mining
E DIN 22109-2 (2013) - Two-ply textile conveyor belts for hard coal underground mining
E DIN 22109-4 (2013) - Two-ply textile belts for hard coal above ground use
E DIN 22110-3 (2013) - Dynamic splice test
E DIN 22121 (2013) - Textile belt splices for hard coal underground mining.
For a complete list of standards see here.
Smart conveyor belt design
A smart way to design conveyor belts as per DIN 22101 (2002 or 2011 issues) employing dynamic splice efficiency, is reducing the belt rating and bringing down overall costs. It is described in a paper called "State-of-the-art long distance conveyor belt design" published in Coal Asia Magazine.